Improve Quality Management for Global Demands
BY CHRISTINE TORRES
Published September 25, 2018
Hyper doses of knowledge and technology are generating changes that are impacting business on a global level. Demands are being put on companies to produce at high levels while maintaining stellar quality in operations. Improving quality management encompasses quality control, rigid compliance, and astute management to steer operational excellence. However, when there isn’t a deep foundation of quality that upholds safety best practices, a company can take a turn for the worst.
Global Call for Quality
According to a study by research company Deloitte, 57 percent of private-company executives said global trade is important to their supply chain. Last year, the World Trade Organization forecast global growth in trade in 2018 to be about 3.2 percent – significantly more than the 1.3 percent growth of 2016. To benefit from globalization, it is significant for a company to sustain consistency in providing quality products and services while also establishing a reputation of trust through complying with regulatory requirements.
Recently achieving the global certification ISO 9001: 2015 Quality Management System standard is Solar Atmospheres. The solar company’s four facilities each received the global nod as they serve more than 18 industries including aerospace, automotive, defense, medical, and power generation. “A key portion of this latest revision (of ISO 9001) highlights the need for top management’s commitment and risk assessment,” said Edward Engelhard, Solar Atmosphere’s corporate quality manager. “We at Solar have a daily commitment to quality vacuum thermal processing, from senior management on down. The adherence to strict specification requirements and to uncompromising process execution provides a service that not only meets, but often surpasses our customer’s expectations.”
Quality Management Tactics
Facilities experience numerous benefits that come with implementing a quality management system using ISO 9001. Achieving an excellent quality management system requires four key elements:
- Plan: Firm plans don’t just talk the talk, they set up the means to achieve and succeed. Meet current and future customer demands with high-quality solutions. Create a leadership team that embraces and supports company goals at all levels of operations, from C-level to facility maintenance.
- Do: Create a reputation of assurance through purpose and direction. Study up on ways to obtain operational excellence and engage workers to sustain the process. Thoroughly study up on compliance using a variety of industry trusted assistance resources and inform workers.
- Check: Use a process approach. Examine processes around all facets of quality management and measure findings against changes that might impact quality. Implement lean tools for quality control, such as Kaizen and Six Sigma.
- Act: Continuously improve. Adopt a factual approach to decision making. Execute best practices to keep up with changes, both anticipated and evolving. Manage worker relationships to company goals, keeping quality checks and balances.
Throughout all four elements, effective communication down the chain of command is a must. A quality facility is in step with safety and compliance that includes quality visual cues such as labels and signs. Visual communication plays an essential role in achieving ISO 9001 compliance as it demonstrates a company’s commitment to thorough communication. As changes arise, facilities can supply pertinent information to ensure changes are understood and modern procedures are easy to follow.